Last week, I shared 35 resolutions that will help you to become a better you. It wasn’t just for you, it was for me too. One of those was to “read more” and it’s one that I really need to do. So I thought I’d make that resolution one of mine for this year, making it apt to share how I plan to do that this year. I don’t read enough, in my opinion and I’ve always said that “one day, I’ll be a read more”. Of course, one day never really comes, does it? So with resolution 14 in mind, I’ve decided to actually pick up some books that I’ve been meaning to read but never got around to it. And let’s be fair, the best way to achieve a target you probably wouldn’t have planned to achieve is to set up something to motivate you to do it – and that’s where this post comes in handy!
In my searches, I came across a few things that I’ve started to do or am planning to use – in the hopes that they’ll help me to achieve my goal & in turn, also help you to do the same. I thought I’d share a few of my favourites here today.
Get the digital app –
It’s rare for me to technology on my blog but despite that, I do love my phone and there are tons of useful apps on there that help to you achieve something. Goodreads is an app that focuses on reading (funny that!). I’ve only recently started using it. However, it’s already appealing to me. Through this one app, you can save books that you want to read, chart your progress on books you’re currently reading or keep a track of books you’ve previously read. You can even add “shelves” to help file your books in a different manner, to suit your own needs (for example: fiction vs. non-fiction or work vs. fun). My favourite part, however, is that you can set yourself a reading challenge for 2017 and add your friends to see what they are reading or how their challenge is going. It’s really easy to use and keep in touch with other readers or get book recommendations without having to put in much effort.
To add books, you can search for them or use their “scan” feature to scan the barcode of them. I’ve tried both versions and find that searching for them is often easier. When it works, it lets you easily scan dozens of books in merely minutes but I had a few books that took a while to scan before I gave up and just searched for them. You can also rate and review the books you’ve read, allowing the app to give you suggestions of books you might like to read. I like being nosy and having a look at what my friends have recently read for ideas too. You can also save your progress or write a general update on your thoughts whilst you go along, which helps you to be accountable to your friends and network. So far, I’m enjoying using it but as I mentioned, I have only been using it for a few weeks now. I’m sure there’s tons more on there that I haven’t looked into yet – like I know there’s a community section that I just haven’t got involved with!
Get a physical book tracker –
If Technology isn’t your thing or you’re a massive stationery addict then a physical book tracker could be perfect for you. Jot down a list as you go along in your bullet journal, notebook or planner. You could even stick the page on your wall or keep it near your desk. If you have a list of books you would like to read, add a checkbox to the list so you can check them off once you’ve read them and you’ll easily be able to see which ones you have left. However, if you’re feeling particular creative or you just like something a bit more visual then why not draw out a page in your planner / notebook with book shelves or a stack of books?
Source: Eddyeule (left) & Finding North (right)
I’m a huge fan of the visual layouts as you can see your shelf or stack fill up. I’ve seen some people use an empty shelf or stack and then draw another book in every time they want to add one, whilst others have the template designed from the start to fill up. Whichever way works for you, make it your own. You could colour it in – you could even use the colours as a rating system. Eddyeule has a printable version of the book shelf pictured, if you don’t want to draw your own. Just print it out and you’re ready to start filling it up!
Do a Reading Challenge or two –
Have you searched for a reading challenge? There are tons of them! Whilst some of them set a target number of books to read in a certain time period (say, 100 books in a year), others may challenge you to read for a certain length of time (say, at least 10 minutes a day for a month). If this is the sort of challenge you’re looking for then you could easily set your goal right now. In fact, do it right now. Pick a number of books you want to read in the next month or this year. I’ve chosen to try and read 25 books in the year (which is 25 more than I read last year…).
If you’re struggling with what to read then I have a different solution for you. Why not try a reading challenge with prompts? These might inspire you to read something you normally wouldn’t pick up – and who knows, you may find a great new book you’d have never read! There’s absolutely tons of them over on Pinterest or on other blogs but here’s a couple that stood out to me:
Source: Modern Mrs Darcy (left and middle) & The Quiet Grove (right).
I love that Modern Mrs Darcy has offered two themes with a distinct purpose, both quite different and challenging in their own ways. You could do just one or both, if you’re feeling up to it. The prompts have been well thought out, in my opinion and a lot of these are unique to the challenge. They are inspired to help you to grow!
If you’ve got children that you want to encourage to read more (or you could both do the challenge together!) then The Quiet Grove’s challenge could be the one for you. I love that this is considerate of people’s age. It gives children and young people the opportunity to get involved in the challenge but not feel forced to read books written for those well above their age. They can pick things of interest to them and it could easily be catered to their own reading skills. For example, the task: “a book based on a fairy tale” is mentioned in all three age ranges. Children could read a simple short fairy tale whilst adults could read the Brothers Grimm version of the same thing. (Or you could totally read a children’s fairytale and relive your childhood for a moment – and the best part is that you could read the book together whenever the challenge overlaps).
That’s all from me today. Resolution #14: Read More – Let’s do this! Are you going to be doing this resolution too? I’d love to hear what your reading target for the year is and how you’re planning to achieve it. (Book recommendations are also ace!)
Notes: I have no affiliation with any of the credits, I simply just wanted to share them as I found them to be useful to me. Have a look at the sources to see where the images or challenges came from – and download any printables that may be on offer.